Hutchins ran a masterful race to put herself in position to challenge Dobyns-Bennett’s Sasha Neglia, and when the defending state champion inadvertently cut a corner near the finish line after straying from the course, Hutchins was declared the champion of the large school girls’ race. The freshman traversed the course in a time of 17:37.
The University High boys, meanwhile, defended their team title. They were led by Porter Bradley’s runner-up finish, but it was a strong team effort that allowed the Bucs to outpace Signal Mountain.
After fading to a runner-up finish in the regional meet at Daniel Boone High School, Hutchins tried a different tactic in the state meet. The decision to match Neglia stride for stride from the starting line in the regional meet depleted Hutchins’ energy.So at the state meet, Hutchins laid back at the start and slowly but surely gained ground on Neglia as the race wore on. The two were on their way to a close finish before the combination of spectators on the course and a lack of clear markings led Neglia to cut a corner and continue toward the finish line before meet organizers could correct her. Hutchins also briefly left the course, but an official was able to steer her back onto the right path before she gained an advantage.